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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 04-05-14, 03:44 AM   #26
Roody
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Should there be restraints to restrict driving ... no.

Should there be incentives to use alternate transportation ... yes.
I agree. Incentives can include better and/or cheaper transit, nicer and safer infrastructure for bikes and walking, and so forth.

Additionally, I think it's vitally important to put restraints not on driving itself, but on the type and amounts of pollution that is permitted from motor vehicles.
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Old 04-05-14, 03:52 AM   #27
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I agree. Incentives can include better and/or cheaper transit, nicer and safer infrastructure for bikes and walking, and so forth.

Additionally, I think it's vitally important to put restraints not on driving itself, but on the type and amounts of pollution that is permitted from motor vehicles.
Those restraints already exist ... now bring on the incentives.

And by incentives I do not necessarily mean vague things like better and/or cheaper transit, nicer and safer infrastructure ...

I mean real incentives ... like free public transportation at certain times (i.e. weekends). Or like tax breaks for people who use public transportation. Or no retail tax on things like walking shoes and bicycles, and thus lower prices.
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Old 04-05-14, 04:19 AM   #28
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Those restraints already exist ... now bring on the incentives.

And by incentives I do not necessarily mean vague things like better and/or cheaper transit, nicer and safer infrastructure ...

I mean real incentives ... like free public transportation at certain times (i.e. weekends). Or like tax breaks for people who use public transportation. Or no retail tax on things like walking shoes and bicycles, and thus lower prices.
I can get on board with all your ideas. But I think better cycling/walking infrastructure and better transit service will have a bigger impact than lower taxes on shoes.
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Old 04-05-14, 04:48 AM   #29
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I can get on board with all your ideas. But I think better cycling/walking infrastructure and better transit service will have a bigger impact than lower taxes on shoes.
I'd be behind fast trains.

As for cycling/walking infrastructure ... it already exists all over the place. Sidewalks/footpaths and roads.
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Old 04-05-14, 07:38 AM   #30
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I agree. Incentives can include better and/or cheaper transit, nicer and safer infrastructure for bikes and walking, and so forth.

Additionally, I think it's vitally important to put restraints not on driving itself, but on the type and amounts of pollution that is permitted from motor vehicles.
Let the motorists restrain themselves. Around me, congestion is a problem and there's an expensive, never-ending, largely ineffective tendency to keep on widening/"improving" roads to improve capacity. Let's knock that off. If "we" stop trying to accommodate-- no, enable-- over-use of the automobile, maybe the traffic will finally catch up to the motor addicts and they'll cut back.
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Old 04-05-14, 07:58 AM   #31
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I grew up in NYC at a time when it was not cool for teens in my hood to ride bikes maybe not cool anywhere in the city.

What an idiot I was...waiting endlessly for the subway and buses at all hours and hitch hiking to the beach while all the time I could have had the freedom of a bicycle to explore my great city.

Probably wouldn't have gotten as many dates though......
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Old 04-05-14, 08:02 AM   #32
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Nonsense, LenA. Uncool kids get piles of dates.... especially if they're in good shape.

I rode bikes throughout high school in the 90s, during a decidedly "skateboard" time period. It seems like the approved disorganized sports for tens swings back and forth between bmx and skateboards, with trends specific to each discipline varying with each generation. I couldn't count on a board to quickly/easily get me a few towns over, so I was the kid with a bike with all skater friends. Still got dates, despite all of my other character flaws.
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Old 04-05-14, 08:07 AM   #33
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I can get on board with all your ideas. But I think better cycling/walking infrastructure and better transit service will have a bigger impact than lower taxes on shoes.
Agree. The strongest incentive for people to go careless is to make that a more practical and pleasant experience. That's also one of the more expensive things that we as a society might take on. There's a big chunk of money in the transportation budget to fund it though. Last I heard, the Feds require states to allocate 1% of their highway money for alternative transportation. That's a big reason for a lot of the improvement with bike lanes, MUPs, etc in recent years.

Couldn't we bump that up to say 5% instead? That would make that money more effective in a dramatic way. And seems like it still puts a big chunk of money (95%) to maintaining the car infrastructure. Then over the years keep giving more to alternative transportation to incrementally transform the infrastructure towards a cleaner life and preservation of natural resources.
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Old 04-05-14, 08:24 AM   #34
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Well actually, carbon dioxide and other emissions will be in the environment for a very long time, whether humans are here to measure it or not. Isn't that a good reason to put some restraints on fossil fuel vehicles?
Pollutants will always be a part of Earth. Volcanos pollutant considerably more than cars!

Back in the 1960's many of us worked very hard to enact The Clean Air Act. And thank God we were successful. The air is now far clearer from made-made pollution.... because of our efforts and The Clean Air Act. But we also accidently created an entirely new industry of Environmental Activism. So now we have profit motivated false information out there about "car emissions" and other human activity.

I also shy away from the several hundred year old term "fossil fuel". Science has long ago determined there is no "fossil" associated with the term fossil fuel. Activism without intellectual honesty.... is merely a scam.
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Old 04-05-14, 08:30 AM   #35
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I also shy away from the several hundred year old term "fossil fuel". Science has long ago determined there is no "fossil" associated with the term fossil fuel. Activism without intellectual honesty.... is merely a scam.
Good point Dave. *Some* of the organic matter that turned into fossils could have instead become our "fossil fuel". But *none* of the organic material that really did become our fuel followed that route.
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Old 04-05-14, 08:33 AM   #36
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Now that my wife is finally living here in Canuckistan I am not driving back and forth to the United States, we have been driving more than we normally would of late as she is adjusting to a medication change that makes cycling problematic but once that balances out, we'll be back to riding pretty much anywhere that is within the city.

We keep the car for longer trips to see family and it does not take much out of our pocket as it is paid for, our insurance rates are low, and remains a very reliable and trouble free car.
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Old 04-05-14, 09:02 AM   #37
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Good point Dave. *Some* of the organic matter that turned into fossils could have instead become our "fossil fuel". But *none* of the organic material that really did become our fuel followed that route.
Coal obviously contains fossil remains and it is a safe assume that the carbon from that organic matter did bond with the sediment (coal) in some manner. That is where the term fossil fuel originated in the 16th century.

After the accidental release (inside the government) of a discovery of life on Mars..... NASA sponsored a huge test that sampled oils from around the planet. No dinosaurs or ancient plant life was involved in making those petro fuels. Actually they seem to have been made in the same way as petro fuels are made on other planets.

This isn't new science. I thought it was common knowledge. I realize that some religious faithful refuse to accept current known science when it conflicts with religious beliefs. That's OK with me! I don't expect environmentalist to accept scientific knowledge that conflicts with their beliefs. But it can make it difficult to tip-toe around science to preserve the feeling of the religious faithful when discussing the environment.
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Old 04-05-14, 09:16 AM   #38
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...... we have been driving more than we normally would of late as she is adjusting to a medication change that makes cycling problematic but once that balances out, we'll be back to riding pretty much anywhere that is within the city.
I hope your wife adjusts quickly and her health returns quickly.

My mother and I spoke briefly a couple times about cycling. She asked me about her acquiring a trike. My Mom is 90+ and hasn't ridden a bike in nearly 80 years. I think she gets bored with her workout routine at the gym she goes to. I think 90 is a fine age for cycling.... but maybe not the best time to take-up cycling.

As a retiree that cycles... I hope you and your wife have many, many years of cycling left. The later years can be the most fun for cycling.
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Old 04-05-14, 09:17 AM   #39
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If you have to holler intellectual honesty about something as benign as calling petroleum "fossil fuels", then please drop the Reagan inspired myth that volcanoes pollute more than cars.

Volcanoes and Greenhouse Gases - Do Volcanoes Generate More Greenhouse Gas Than Humans?

Which produces more CO2, volcanic or human activity?

From the second link.
"Gas studies at volcanoes worldwide have helped volcanologists tally up a global volcanic CO[SUB]2[/SUB] budget in the same way that nations around the globe have cooperated to determine how much CO[SUB]2[/SUB] is released by human activity through the burning of fossil fuels. Our studies show that globally, volcanoes on land and under the sea release a total of about 200 million tonnes of CO[SUB]2[/SUB] annually.
This seems like a huge amount of CO[SUB]2[/SUB], but a visit to the U.S. Department of Energy's Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) website (http://cdiac.ornl.gov/) helps anyone armed with a handheld calculator and a high school chemistry text put the volcanic CO[SUB]2[/SUB] tally into perspective. Because while 200 million tonnes of CO[SUB]2[/SUB] is large, the global fossil fuel CO[SUB]2[/SUB] emissions for 2003 tipped the scales at 26.8 billion tonnes. Thus, not only does volcanic CO[SUB]2[/SUB] not dwarf that of human activity, it actually comprises less than 1 percent of that value. "

And, while I could not find a link to the whole paper(its been a few years since I read it) in the few minutes that I have before I have to get to work, this is a brief abstract. Global carbon dioxide emission to the atmosphere by volcanoes

Its possible that some "inside Government" data that is not released to the world refutes this. I would not know about that.
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Old 04-05-14, 09:34 AM   #40
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Should there be restraints to restrict driving ... no.

Should there be incentives to use alternate transportation ... yes.
I mostly agree, but also think a move to a more "complete streets" ideology is important. Using available right of ways, this often means taking space dedicated to on-street parking and reallocating it for bike ways, or implementing road diets that convert automobile lanes from "car only" roads to bike lanes.

This line of thinking could be seen as a restriction to driving in the sense that it often involves reallocating space that is reserved for automobiles so that is is shared with other road users. However, it is not a restriction in the sense that eliminates cars completely.
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Old 04-05-14, 01:37 PM   #41
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Pollutants will always be a part of Earth. Volcanos pollutant considerably more than cars!

Back in the 1960's many of us worked very hard to enact The Clean Air Act. And thank God we were successful. The air is now far clearer from made-made pollution.... because of our efforts and The Clean Air Act. But we also accidently created an entirely new industry of Environmental Activism. So now we have profit motivated false information out there about "car emissions" and other human activity.

I also shy away from the several hundred year old term "fossil fuel". Science has long ago determined there is no "fossil" associated with the term fossil fuel. Activism without intellectual honesty.... is merely a scam.
Intellectual honesty should include some attempt to keep up with scientific findings about climatology and global climate change. Your lack of knowledge about this topic is astounding. And you have not been following the recent news reports from Paris, Beijing and London if you blithely believe the air pollution problem has been solved.
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Old 04-05-14, 01:54 PM   #42
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I mostly agree, but also think a move to a more "complete streets" ideology is important. Using available right of ways, this often means taking space dedicated to on-street parking and reallocating it for bike ways, or implementing road diets that convert automobile lanes from "car only" roads to bike lanes.

This line of thinking could be seen as a restriction to driving in the sense that it often involves reallocating space that is reserved for automobiles so that is is shared with other road users. However, it is not a restriction in the sense that eliminates cars completely.
Yes, taking space away from cars and giving it to bikes could be considered a restriction on driving.

So far, bike lanes (in the US at least) are not installed unless a prior traffic study shows that there would be no negative impact or disruption on automobile traffic.

I would be in favor of trying out "disruptive" bike lanes on congested streets, at least on a trial basis in selected areas. It would be interesting to see if this would convert enough people to bike use to actually reduce congestion. It seems like this is currently being tried in London, if I understand the situation correctly.
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Old 04-05-14, 03:15 PM   #43
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Intellectual honesty should include some attempt to keep up with scientific findings about climatology and global climate change. Your lack of knowledge about this topic is astounding. And you have not been following the recent news reports from Paris, Beijing and London if you blithely believe the air pollution problem has been solved.
What the heck are you posting about?!?!?!? I never once mentioned ether "climatology and global climate change"!!!!! Your links from "Environmental Magazine" are profit driven hoak... and nothing more. I get my factual information right from GOVERNMENT sources. Where on earth is your mind at? Reports from Paris, Beijing and London??!?!?!? Why not just get yourself a dot com and make up your own stats?

But if you want to play read this stupid link... here this PROVES I am right. But for the record.... I hate the post stupid "links game".

You took a decent discussion to a new low in odd rants. I am out of here. Sorry if I offended your religious beliefs.
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Old 04-05-14, 03:42 PM   #44
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I mostly agree, but also think a move to a more "complete streets" ideology is important. Using available right of ways, this often means taking space dedicated to on-street parking and reallocating it for bike ways, or implementing road diets that convert automobile lanes from "car only" roads to bike lanes.

This line of thinking could be seen as a restriction to driving in the sense that it often involves reallocating space that is reserved for automobiles so that is is shared with other road users. However, it is not a restriction in the sense that eliminates cars completely.
If we are going to get people out of the cars and back onto their feet (and pedals), we're going to have to reallocate not just space, but time. Even when there are sidewalks, who wants to wait several minutes at each intersection to cross just so the cars can freely flow.

We really should be setting traffic signals to change on-demand for pedestrians regardless of the impact this has on the flow of cars. Let them wait on their couch while people walk right by them. Current traffic engineering standards don't count pedestrian wait time as a factor and consider any wait of over 85 seconds for cars to be a failed intersection. Eighty-five seconds is a typical wait at many of the intersections I cross as a ped, and I don't even have a couch to sit on.
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Old 04-05-14, 04:27 PM   #45
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We really should be setting traffic signals to change on-demand for pedestrians regardless of the impact this has on the flow of cars. Let them wait on their couch while people walk right by them. Current traffic engineering standards don't count pedestrian wait time as a factor and consider any wait of over 85 seconds for cars to be a failed intersection. Eighty-five seconds is a typical wait at many of the intersections I cross as a ped, and I don't even have a couch to sit on.
I agree that signals need to work for all road users, not just automobiles. One of my pet peeves is traffic signals that don't cycle unless a motor vehicle triggers the sensor.
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Old 04-05-14, 04:32 PM   #46
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Nonsense, LenA. Uncool kids get piles of dates.... especially if they're in good shape.

I rode bikes throughout high school in the 90s, during a decidedly "skateboard" time period. It seems like the approved disorganized sports for tens swings back and forth between bmx and skateboards, with trends specific to each discipline varying with each generation. I couldn't count on a board to quickly/easily get me a few towns over, so I was the kid with a bike with all skater friends. Still got dates, despite all of my other character flaws.
Citation of a complete, peer-reviewed study please.
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Old 04-05-14, 04:49 PM   #47
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I have mentioned before on this forum the large amount of angst in the media from motorists that is created when cycling gets incorporated into road and traffic discussion.

I will illustrate how the cycling movement has been used as a pawn (yet again), this time by local government to shift motorist angst away from that same local government to cyclists.

There is a main arterial road from a southern suburb of Hobart. It generally has a concrete surface (as opposed to asphalt). It is wide enough to accommodate originally some on-street parking as well as a lane in either direction where people could also ride bikes in a quite safe share-the-lane configuration.

Now, speeding of motor vehicles along this road has been problematic for decades. So the council decided that it needed to introduced measures to reduce the speed. One of these methods accepted in traffic engineering is to narrow the vehicle lane. So this idea was adopted. Then was to come a 50km/h speed zone restriction. All fine and dandy (although to my mind, permanent speed cameras on the road and a reduction to the 50km/h speed limit would have been a cheaper and more effective solution).

Now, to create the narrow lanes, there were installed several kilometres of bike lanes. This served two purposes. Yes, it gave cyclists a compulsory (as in, they are legally required now to ride in) sanctuary, and shifted the blame for the slowing of traffic away from the council and on to the cycling community.

This all might have been fine, except that special efforts were made to ensure on-street parking was still available along the route. So the bike lane meanders along in and out, and the old door zone issues still remain (but remember, cyclists are now legally required to ride in that door zone).

I've ridden along that road in its original configuration for years without problems. The issue for me, as a rider, always has been the on-street parking of motor vehicles (this area has unrestricted hours on parking).

The proper and retrained use of an automobile, in this situation, is actually to park it off the street. I picked up on this concept years ago -- that the roads and streets are meant for transportation purposes, not free and unfettered parking of cars. Planning scheme for building require off-street parking provision.

Of course, people (particularly in this toffs suburb that I am writing about) have enough money to buy two or three vehicles, and have to park one or two of them on the street. For heaven's sake, there's even a big darned power oat that has been parked semi-permanently on the road.

For me, I don't really care about the cars moving on the road. The major issue is in fact on-street parking that reduces useful lane widths so that sharing the lane with enough room with cars is almost impossible. From what I can remember when riding through villages and towns in Europe, I don't recall cars being parked on the street as being such an issue.
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Old 04-05-14, 05:23 PM   #48
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From what I can remember when riding through villages and towns in Europe, I don't recall cars being parked on the street as being such an issue.
I remember lots of cars parking in the narrow street, of the car on the sidewalk, in villages throughout Germany and in the Alsace region of France.
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Old 04-05-14, 05:40 PM   #49
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I remember lots of cars parking in the narrow street, of the car on the sidewalk, in villages throughout Germany and in the Alsace region of France.
Perhaps it was the lower speed limits in the residential areas that seemed to make riding through them a little more amenable, and that was point I probably didn't make very well.

I do recall that parking often was ad hoc" -- cars facing both ways, and you're likely right about half and half parking. But certainly in some of the older villages we visited with much narrower streets, even the sidewalks were not wide, and parking was not permitted. Metz comes to mind as an example.
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Old 04-05-14, 05:51 PM   #50
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The proper and retrained use of an automobile, in this situation, is actually to park it off the street. I picked up on this concept years ago -- that the roads and streets are meant for transportation purposes, not free and unfettered parking of cars. Planning scheme for building require off-street parking provision.
I very much agree with you on this point. I wish more governments did as well.
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